AGENTS OF CHANGE & NEW TECHNOLOGY:
Reaching New Frontiers Through Mobile Health Equipped With Tele-Communications, Tele-Dentistry and/or Tele-Medicine
mtele-HEALTH (often referred to as "distance learning", or "e-health") is the use of electronic communication technology that allow mobile health professionals to deliver health education, medical care and related services. It is a vital tool for facilitating "connectivity" - between the mobile clinic, fixed-site facility, and even a third party community partner - in the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of patients. The quality and timeliness of service provided on a mobile clinic is enhanced through the use of telecommunications technology such as basic network computing, Internet connections, and video-conferencing systems. Customized application software, data storage systems, database disease management software, and devices capable of electronic data collection, storage and transmission are all key components of the telemedicine infrastructure. This technology allows healthcare professionals to leverage expertise with the added value of helping to keep operating and service costs in check.
mtele-HEALTH technology customarily uses one of two methods to transmit images, data and sound:
Telemetry, or live, real-time transmission - consulting medical or dental specialist (at a fixed-site) interacts with healthcare professionals on the mobile clinic and/or participates in the examination of the patient while diagnostic information is collected and transmitted;
Store and forward transmission - consulting healthcare professionals review data after collection is completed and transmitted.
Mobile clinics can employ both transmission capabilities to maximize efficient use of available resources that are appropriate to the healthcare services being provided.
The key objective of a mobile clinic equipped with mtele-HEALTH technology is to increase access to essential healthcare services, especially for rural and underserved populations.
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